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March 26, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

'Hyper-sized' city hub gets under way

WORK has begun on a "hyper-sized" city business zone aiming to be world's biggest hub integrating commerce and transport.

The city government expects Hongqiao Business Zone, covering an 86-square-kilometer area in the west of the city, to boost Shanghai's economic development and that of the whole Yangtze River Delta Region, officials said yesterday.

All major commercial and public buildings should be complete within five years, announced Xue Quanrong, deputy director of the zone's government-authorized managing committee. By then, it's expected the area will attract a combined work and residential population of 1 million.

"The business zone will become a hyper-sized commercial area to be conveniently connected with air traffic, high-speed provincial railway links, urban Metro routes and city buses," Xue said.

Hongqiao Business Zone will boast impressive green credentials, with efforts to realize low carbon emissions and save energy top priorities throughout the project, said Xue.

The zone will be pedestrian-friendly with public spaces between blocks, while buildings will use energy-saving materials and designs and rely on green power supplies.

Xue indicated a move away from the spectacular skyscraper landscape of the city's Lujiazui financial district, which some workers have complained is not pedestrian-friendly.

"Compared with the current commercial areas, the future business zone will feature more small connection walkways, while the height of buildings and size of blocks will be restricted to keep the whole environment visually more relaxing," Xue said. "The aim is to learn from the shortcomings of existent practices."

Most buildings in the zone will be between six and eight floors while the permitted maximum height is 10.

Rental bicycles and electronic scooters may be available as a daily commute tool inside the zone. High-speed cable and wireless Internet services will be accessible in the zone, he said.

The government is targeting up-scale corporations from service industry sectors to operate in the business zone.

Besides company and office complexes, hyper-sized underground shopping malls, serviced apartments and hotels have all been planned, Xue said.


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